#60: How to Help a Loved One Make Positive Change with Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D Sun and Moon Sober Living June 17, 2023

#60: How to Help a Loved One Make Positive Change with Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D


Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D, is a psychologist with over 25 years of experience in the practice and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for substance use and Post-Traumatic Stress. She is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change, a group of clinicians serving all ages in NYC, Long Island, Washington, DC, San Diego, CA, and CMC:Berkshires, a private, inpatient/residential program for adults. She is co-author of the award-winning book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change, a practical guide for families dealing with addiction and substance problems in a loved one based on principles of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), and co-author of The Beyond Addiction Workbook for Family and Friends: Evidence-Based Skills to Help a Loved-One Make Positive Change .  Dr. Wilkens is also Co-President and CEO of the CMC:Foundation for Change, a not-for-profit with the mission of improving the dissemination of evidence-based ideas and strategies to professionals and loved ones of persons struggling with substance use. The CMC:FFC team’s Invitation to Change approach is an accessible set of understandings and practices that empower families to remain engaged and be effective in helping their struggling loved one make positive changes. The approach has been widely used across the country and is utilized in trainings with laypeople and professionals.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to support someone struggling with substance use
  • The Invitation to Change (ITC) approach
  • Why behaviors make sense
  • Addressing ambivalence as normal 
  • The fear of enabling, codependency and other common misconceptions
  • The root of addiction
  • Effective communication strategies
  • How to navigate shame and practice self-compassion
  • Resources and support for loved ones

Dr. Wilkens has been a Project Director on a large federally-funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant addressing the problems associated with binge drinking among college students. She is regularly sought out by the media to discuss issues related to substance use disorders and has been on the CBS Morning Show, Katie Couric Show, frequent NPR segments, and podcasts, including Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris.  She is also in the HBO documentary Risky Drinking. Dr. Wilkens is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Association of Addiction Psychiatrists.

To learn more about CMC:Foundation for change and access resources referenced in this episode, visit: https://cmcffc.org/

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